Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 1: The Biplane Era, Supermarine Walrus

Canadian Warplanes of the Biplane Era, Supermarine Walrus

Data Current to 15 Feb 2019.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581292)

Supermarine Walrus pair, visiting an RCAF Station. 

The Supermarine Walrus (originally known as the Supermarine Seagull V) was a British single-engine amphibious biplane reconnaissance aircraft designed by R.J. Mitchell, first flown in 1933.  The Walrus was designed for use as a fleet spotter to be catapult-launched from cruisers or battleships.  The Walrus was later employed in many other roles, notably as a rescue aircraft for aircrew that had ditched in the sea.  The Walrus continued in service throughout the Second World War, with the Fleet Air Arm (FAA), the RAF, RAAF, RNZN, and the RNZAF.  It was the first British squadron-service aircraft to incorporate in one airframe a fully retractable main undercarriage, completely enclosed crew accommodation and all-metal fuselage.  Eight were in service with the RAF in Canada.

Supermarine Walrus Mk. I (2), RAF (Serial Nos. L2330, and W3089), Mk. II (6), (Serial Nos. Z1768, Z1771, Z1775, Z1781, Z1814, and HD909), for a total of 8 aircraft.

The collection of Intelligence on the U-boat threat off Canada’s East coast during the Second World War became an absolute necessity early in the war.  Because of sightings and Direction Finding (DF) reports of submarines in the vicinity of Sable Island off the Nova Scotia Coast, a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (FAA) detachment with radar-equipped Supermarine Walrus amphibious aircraft was sent to the island in May 1942.  The RCAF provided a work party to build the station and later an observer for the aircraft.  Under the orders of a controller in Dartmouth, the Walrus flew daily patrols from a small lake on the island whenever the weather permitted, until 20 August when it was lost.  The patrol was abandoned for the rest of the 1942 season and the detachment was withdrawn.  (W.A.B. Douglas, “Creation of a National Airforce, Vol.  II, RCAF Official History)

  (IWM Photo A9272)

Supermarine Walrus, RN.

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM54-S4-2-: CVA 371-356)

Supermarine Walrus (Serial No. K8343), coded 769, suspended from a crane, Vancouver, British Columbia, ca 1940.

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM640-S1-: CVA 260-694)

Supermarine Walrus (Serial No. K8343), coded 769,  Vancouver, British Columbia, ca 1940.

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM640-S1-: CVA 260-696)

Supermarine Walrus (Serial No. K8343), coded 769,  Vancouver, British Columbia, ca 1940.

Supermarine Walrus, RN (Serial No. Z1768), No. 1 Naval Gunnery School, RN, Oct 1944.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo,  MIKAN No. 3651070)

 (State Library of Victoria, NZ Photo)

Supermarine Walrus Mk. I, HMNZS Leander (Serial No. K5783), from the first production batch.  Photo taken between 1937 and 1939.

 (IWM Photo, A 15215)

Supermarine Walrus being launched from the deck of HMS Bermuda in 1943.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Supermarine Walrus (Serial No. L2301), Reg. No. G-AIZG, a composite aircraft preserved in the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, UK.